COVID-19 has nations around the world encouraging or even mandating that its citizens avoid traveling too far from their homes. And those who have to get from Point A to Point B are taking extreme measures to protect themselves from contamination.

But even after this pandemic has receded, there are a few things we’ll have learned during this difficult time that we should all keep practicing. One is how to stay safe and healthy while we travel.

From your middle seat neighbor on the plane with a bad cough to the blow to our immune system that comes with jet lag and poor vacation diets, keep reading to learn some healthy travel tips you should always follow, COVID-19 or not.

Wipe Down Your Seat and Tray Table

In 2015, experts conducted a study of the dirtiest spots in a plane. If you’re thinking you’ll find it in the bathroom, think again.

The study measured the number of colony-forming units, or CFUs, per square inch in a variety of high-traffic spots you might touch while flying. The flush button on the lavatory toilet has an average of 265 CFU per square inch. For comparison, your home’s toilet seat has an average of 172 CFU per square inch. The buckle on your seatbelt is nearly as dirty as the flush valve, at 230 CFU per square inch. The air vent above your seat has a bit more, at 285 CFU per square inch.

None of these spots are the dirtiest. That award goes to the tray table at your seat. At a whopping 2,155 CFU per square feet, your tray table is literally crawling with bacteria. Even when there isn’t a global pandemic like coronavirus going around, that bacteria could cause all kinds of other illnesses.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to carry antibacterial wipes with you when you fly. When you board, wipe down your seat, armrest, and of course, your tray table before you sit down. If you eat a snack or meal in the air, visit the restroom first to wash your hands or use some alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Even if you’ve wiped down your seat, this will minimize the number of bacteria that comes into contact with your food and winds up in your stomach.

Don’t Over-Stress About Your Hotel Stay

Hotel rooms sometimes get a bad reputation for being covered in germs. But while it’s true that you never know when a previous occupant was ill, the reality is that most hotel rooms, and especially those in three, four, and five-star hotels, are cleaned more often than your home.

Don’t let worry about germs ruin your enjoyment of a great hotel stay. If you have any doubts that a hotel was cleaned from top to bottom before your stay, you can use those antibacterial wipes you carried for the plane to wipe down the parts of your room that might not have gotten cleaned, like the light switches, doorknobs, telephone, and remote control.

Balance Your Unhealthy Vacation Habits

Most of us are prone to a few unhealthy habits while we travel. Maybe you like to stay up late, which means you don’t get enough sleep each night. We all love to indulge in delicious, rich, sweet foods. Some of us also enjoy a few drinks at the hotel bar each night. Add in the stress that traveling can sometimes bring, jet lag, or trouble sleeping in an unfamiliar bed, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster for your immune system.

To help balance out these habits and give your immune system a healthy boost while you’re on the go, try to get some exercise every day. Of course, if you’re enjoying the national parks on one of our tours, you’ll get plenty every day of your adventure! Do your best to eat some healthy vegetables and fruits at one or two meals each day, as well as lean meats and other proteins. Finally, be sure to stay hydrated with water instead of sugary drinks or alcohol throughout the day.

You should absolutely indulge while you’re on vacation and break out of your normal, everyday routine. But to help your body stay healthy and energized, balance out that indulgence with a few healthy habits as well.

Staying Healthy on the Go

Traveling opens your mind to new experiences and helps you learn about the world around you. Unfortunately, traveling also comes with some exposure to new germs and can wreak havoc on your immune system. But with these simple tips, you can stay safe and healthy, no matter when or where you choose to go!

While COVID-19 might be making travel impossible right now, the end is just around the corner. Check out The Mighty 5® Small Group Tour, Yellowstone and Grand Teton Luxury Custom Private Tour, or maybe a Private Custom Day Tour of Salt Lake City and start planning your next adventure today!